Which Birds Prey on Black Soldier Fly Larvae? An Insight

BSFL are considered one of the best feeder insects in the world, but which birds eat black soldier fly larvae? Let’s find out.

The black soldier fly larvae are insects often farmed and processed for animal feed. They are extremely nutritious and high in protein when harvested.

Several domestic and wild birds feed on the black soldier fly larvae. 

In this article, we look at which birds specifically can be feed the black soldier fly larvae. Read on to find out!

What Birds Eat Black Soldier Fly Larvae
Black Soldier Fly Larvae

What Are BSFL?

Black soldier fly larvae belong to the family Stratiomyidae and are often used as feeder insects.

These larvae feed voraciously on dead and decaying organic material. They eat anything from kitchen waste to food scraps to agricultural waste.

Before the pre-pupal stage, the larvae feed heartily on the food, making them extremely protein-rich.

They are harvested and dried to be made into animal feed. They can also be stored at room temperature and used as and when required as feeder insects.

Data says feeding black soldier fly larvae to chickens boosts their productivity, i.e., leads to more eggs, and improves gut health.

What is The Nutritional Content of BSFL?

During their larval stage, BSFL feed excessively on organic matter. They end up storing a lot of these nutrients to be used during adulthood.

At this stage, they are harvested to be converted into animal feeders because of the high protein content for chickens, pigs, fish, and even shrimp.

According to research, BSFL contains 50% crude protein and 35% lipids. Their amino acid profile matches a fish meal’s, rendering them healthy to be fed to pets and other animals.

What Birds Eat Black Soldier Fly Larvae?

Black soldier fly larvae are a very natural food source for several birds.

Chickens

Black soldier fly larvae are commonly fed to poultry because of their high nutritional content. They are far healthier than mealworms.

Black soldier fly larvae are said to boost productivity and gut health among chickens, leading to better quality and quantity of eggs.

However, this should be served as an additional side treat, over and above their regular feed.

Ducks

Black soldier fly larvae are also a good option for ducks. They have a higher calcium content and a balanced ratio of calcium to phosphorus, making them an ideal meal for birds.

Black soldier fly larvae improve feather conditions, produce stronger eggshells, and boost bird immunity.

Black Soldier Fly Pupa

Other Domestic Birds

Other domestic birds, such as parrots, woodpeckers, finches, and chickens, feed on BSFL.

As discussed before, birds need a high-protein diet, and they often like eating worms as part of their meal. So you can give your pet bird a healthy amount of BSFL.

You can feed dried BSFL, rehydrate it, and serve it to your bird. You may also use it in the form of treats for positive behavior.

Wild Birds

Black soldier fly larvae are a good feeder for wild birds as well. Since they are a naturally occurring food source, they’re safe and healthy.

If you wish to feed wild birds, black soldier fly larvae are a far better option as compared to human food like bread or biscuits.

How To Feed BSFL To Chickens?

You can feed your chickens BSFL as a treat or a reward for training. You can feed your chickens directly from your hand or from a dish – both methods are fine.

For chickens specifically, do not use BSFL as the main meal. Use it as a treat or a supplement to their main feed.

You can also use BSFL to attract chickens towards trying a new food by sprinkling a few on top of the new food. You can also use it to attract your chickens to a new feeder.

Scattering BSFL on the ground will encourage your chickens to forage, put them in the habit of foraging, and also be a source of amusement.

Some owners also prefer making chicken toys with BSFL. You can pick a suitable design online or make your own using a regular plastic bottle, making holes in it, and filling it up with BSFL.

Your chickens can then play with the toy to feed on the treats, i.e., BSFL!

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

How To Feed BSFL To Other Domestic Birds?

When feeding BSFL to other domestic birds, ensure that you take their dietary requirements into consideration. Birds need a protein-rich diet, and BSFL can successfully meet this requirement.

However, you might have to use it as a supplement food in combination with types of feed and fruits to ensure you feed your bird a balanced meal.

Depending on the size of your bird, you can decide the amount of BSFL to feed them. And depending on the type of bird you have, you can feed it BSFL as the main meal or sprinkle it on top of its main meal.

Maintain a hygienic feeding environment for your bird and pick up uneaten BSFL to prevent your bird from overeating.

What Lizards Can Eat BSFL?

BSFL makes excellent food for lizards largely because of its high calcium content. Several species of lizards like to feed on BSFL:

  • Geckos
  • Old World chameleons
  • Leopard geckos
  • Fence lizards
  • Crested geckos
  • Basilisk lizards
  • Water dragons
  • Spiny-tailed lizard
  • Bearded dragons
  • Small and large monitor lizards

Crested and leopard geckos and bearded dragons, known to be picky eaters, also quite enjoy feeding on the BSFL.

The best way to feed BSFL to pet lizards is by picking larvae whose size is the same as the space between the lizard’s eyes.

You can put them on a dish and leave them inside the terrarium.

Determine the feeding quantity and frequency depending on your lizard’s size and dietary requirements.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

What Other Pet Animals Can Eat BSFL?

BSFL can also be fed to regular pet animals like dogs and cats. For poultry, birds, lizards, and spiders too, they make excellent treat foods.

BSFL can also be fed to fish, amphibians, and small mammals like hedgehogs. BSFL are quite nutritious, and feeding them to your pet will positively affect their health.

The only part you should really be careful about is the quantity. Sticking to your pet’s nutritional needs and feeding them accordingly is important for their health.

If you have any doubts about whether or not you should feed BSFL to your pet, we suggest checking with a veterinarian to ensure your pet gets the right food.

Frequently Asked Questions

What eats black soldier fly larvae?

The larvae of black soldier fly can be used as feed for fish, poultry, and pigs, as well as pets like lizards and dogs.
They also have the potential for human consumption.

What kills black soldier fly larvae?

Black soldier flies can become a nuisance, but they are harmless.
Eliminating their breeding source, which is decaying organic matter, is the best way to get rid of them.
If you have compost or moldy food, it’s best to eliminate it.
You can also use a fly swatter or aerosol spray to kill the flies, and pick up and discard the larvae if you spot them in your house.

Do chickens eat black soldier fly larvae?

Black soldier fly larvae are a nutritious food source commonly fed to poultry, as they are healthier than mealworms.
They can improve gut health and productivity in chickens, resulting in better quality and quantity of eggs.
However, they should only be served as an additional side treat, not as a replacement for regular feed.

Are black soldier fly larvae good feeders?

Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) have high nutritional value.
They have 50% crude protein and 35% lipids.
BSFL are commonly fed to poultry and other domestic birds, as well as wild birds, due to their high protein content and balanced ratio of calcium to phosphorus.
These insects can improve gut health, egg quality, and immunity in birds.
They can be served as part of a bird’s regular diet, and can also be used as treats for positive behavior.
Compared to human food, BSFL are a safer and healthier option for feeding wild birds.

Wrap Up

Black soldier fly larvae are extremely nutritious grubs full of protein, healthy fat content, and the right calcium and phosphorus levels.

It is due to this reason that they make an excellent source of food for numerous birds – both domestic and wild.

Other animals, such as small mammals, fish, and even lizards, like to feed on BSFL.

Thank you for reading, and we hope you will be able to feed your farmyard birds and animals black soldier fly larvae without any problem.

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

    View all posts

4 thoughts on “Which Birds Prey on Black Soldier Fly Larvae? An Insight”

  1. I am in Riverside Ca and have 2 home made harvester bins set up for this fly. If you get inundated again in the spring I would love to get some as an attractant to our local bsf. I dont see many here so I probaly need a few larvae to get my bins up and running in the spring. reptilerescueca @ verizon.net

    Reply
  2. I’ve been culturing black soldier larvae for almost two years and I have a blog devoted to the subject. When I first discovered BSF I sent a photo here for identification (5/14/2007) which was very helpful.

    Fred, I’ve released 100’s of thousands of BSF larvae on my property and I can tell you there is no such thing as a “swarm of black soldier flies”. The adult flies don’t eat and they only live for a few days. During that time they only want to mate and lay eggs, after that they’re gone. They rarely land on people or enter houses, and they don’t bite or sting. Even with two large colonies of larvae I rarely see an adult black soldier fly. Also, the presence of BSF larvae in compost is a repellent to other fly species, most of which ARE pests.

    Black soldier flies are called Window flies because if they accidently enter a house they will constantly try to exit and therefore they usually go to a window. They are attracted to rotting food so they have no interest in the fresh food in your house. They will beat themselves to death trying to fly through a window and if you see one trapped it’s good thing to gently capture them in a cup and release them outdoors. They fill an important niche in nature and they do not spread disease like their cousins the house fly.

    jerry

    Reply
  3. I found what looks like a black soldier fly larva in my toilet, of all places. It freaked me out because I wondered if it came from my autistic son!- I am wondering if you can positively identify it for me. I have a good picture of it next to a penny for determining size. Next question is HOW can I send the pic? I guess I will wait for a response and send from my pc…

    Reply

Leave a Comment